March 2009    

CT Scanning at CBI
Carol Meschter, DVM, Ph.D., DACVP

CT ScanComparative Biosciences, Inc. (CBI) now offers CT scanning for use in preclinical studies in rodents, rabbit, dogs and minipigs. CT scanning has become an increasingly available and useful tool in preclinical toxicology and pharmacology environments.  Computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging method employing tomography (imaging by sections). Digital geometry processing is used to generate a three-dimensional image of the inside of an object from a large series of two-dimensional X-ray images taken around a single axis of rotation.

Here are some examples of usefulness of CT scanning in a preclinical environment at CBI:

  • Examination of the structure of internal organs, such as the brain, chest, liver, vessels, as well as bones
  • Angiography
  • Post surgical assessments following surgical interventions and orthopedic manipulations
  • Positioning of devices such as stents, heart valves, catheters, and bone plates
  • Location of thrombi, for example, within the heart or lung or aorta
  • Location, size, and shape of tumors
  • Following of the healing processes at surgical sites
  • Intraocular implants
  • Location of implants materials such as antineoplastics and depo materials

The actual imaging procedure is quick, but requires brief immobilization via sedation or anesthesia. The animal is positioned and placed into the scanner. A rapid bolus of contrast agent is administered through a large bore intravenous catheter, and the x-ray is taken.  The animal is allowed to recover.

CT scan data is presented in a CD with its own software which permits visualization of the serial images.  There are a large number of serial images through the area of interest which allows for detailed and careful scrutiny.  The images can be downloaded into reports.  The disk itself with the images and software can be stored as raw data with associated metadata.

To learn more about the preclinical research services at CBI, visit www.compbio.com.